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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (HOT - Analyst Report) recently announced the opening of a new hotel in Singapore under its Westin brand. The Westin Singapore is the latest addition to Starwood’s more than 40 Westin properties in the Asia Pacific region. It has 20 more upcoming properties in the region.

The hotel boasts the highest lobby in Singapore and occupies floor 32 to 46 of the Asia Square Tower 2 commercial development in Marina Bay. Each of the hotel’s 305 guestrooms and suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows and are equipped with all amenities.

The hotel also offers an infinity pool, fitness studio, and a state-of-the-art spa. It has a gastro-bar Cook & Brew. Apart from providing local comfort food, the bar offers classic bar favorites. This includes more than over 100 different types of beer from 17 countries.

Starwood Hotels has been expanding its popular brands in various parts of Asia Pacific. Earlier this month, the company in collaboration with Rajawali Group, one of the largest investment companies in Indonesia, announced that it is set to open The St. Regis Jakarta in 2016, under the St. Regis brand. This was preceded by the opening of Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas in Prachuap Khirikhan in Thailand in Oct 2013.

More than half of Starwood’s properties are situated outside the U.S., which gives the company wide international exposure. Recently, as a part of its aggressive expansion plans in Africa, Starwood Hotels signed deals to open three hotels under its most popular brand, Sheraton, in the continent.

With its strong developmental pipeline and significant international exposure, Starwood Hotels continues to remain well positioned. However, still-soft economic conditions in Europe, slowdown in some emerging markets and budget sequestration in the U.S. keep us concerned.  The company has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Stocks worth considering in the hotel industry include Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. , Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp. (VAC - Snapshot Report) and Marriott International, Inc. (MAR - Analyst Report). While Orient-Express Hotels carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Marriott Vacations and Marriott International hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).


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